Q&A with President Mahar

Part 1 – Questions and Answers from President Mahar

Q: Do you know how many will be laid off and what date we will find out?
A: As of today, we don’t know what the planned layoffs are. Based on Manager’s discussions and Council’s actions we anticipate knowing this week. However, if layoffs do happen, it could be tomorrow or two weeks from now. We aren’t sure.

Q: Are your service years and/or vacation time affected by layoffs with recall?
A: When recalled your years of service would be bridged to your recall date. Meaning if you had 10 years at the time of layoff and were recalled 6 months later, your years of service would be 10 years 6 months upon recall.
As for vacation accruement – all benefits would be applied accordingly.

Q: If someone is reverted to Shuttle from Bus would they keep their seniority or go to the bottom?
A: Firstly, let’s clarify the difference between reversion and redeployment. Reversion rights do not change and if there was a reduction in the workforce, if you still had reversion rights you would be reverted. If there’s a reduction in the workforce after that and you’ve held a previous position, in this case Shuttle Operator, then you would have redeployment rights. You would keep previous seniority if redeployed back to shuttle.

Q: Will there be enough work on Shuttle if redeployed there?
A: Unfortunately, the hours available will be determined through seniority and the number of service hours put out by the employer.

Q: Why is the City training more Operators with the possibility of layoffs looming?
A: The City has quite a few resources invested in selecting and training Operators to date and they want to be prepared to access them when the service starts to fire back up.

Q: Rumors of the Province opening back up are floating around. The timeline sounds to be about 2 weeks. Should this change the planned layoffs?
A: We don’t know what the planned layoffs are at this point or when the need to reinstate service will be. It is anticipated that ridership will remain low until at least September.

Q: Are the 30 allowed work trades per year based on calendar year or by anniversary date?
A: By calendar year.

Q: If we have not taken our holidays before layoff will we get paid in lieu or just lose the holidays?
A: No one will lose any earned benefits for temporary layoffs. We will try and have an option that you can leave your vacation available upon return. If not, you’d be paid out.

Q: In case of layoffs how much notice is the employer required to give?
A: 90 days to 2 years is 1 week notice.
2 years to 4 years is 2 weeks’ notice.
4 years to 6 years is 4 weeks’ notice.
6 years to 8 years is 5 weeks’ notice.

Q: Can we ask the City to overlook the 2 years needed for vesting pensions?
A: All pension rules are set through LAPP.

Q: Will there be another sign up before Aug 31?
A: If there is a staff reduction it will result in an additional new sign up to match the level of the workforce.

Q: Has the City considered permitting Conventional Operators to work 60 hours instead of 75 for the short term to prevent layoffs?
A: This is something that would have to be decided by the entire Membership through a referendum. We are not currently discussing this as a viable option.

Q: Will there be a job to come back to after Covid-19?
A: Yes. All those laid off will have recall rights and no doubt Calgary Transit will have to provide a full level of service at some point.

Q: Has the City considered collecting fares again to prevent layoffs?
A: They are collecting some now. However, even if fare collection was being enforced, they still only have 10-20% of the normal ridership.

Q: If layoffs occur will we be able to keep our benefits?
A: Currently the City is not willing to provide benefits or allow laid off employees to maintain them if paid in advance. We are working on this to maintain as much access to benefits as possible.

Q: Will the City offer retirement incentives to those able to retire to avoid some layoffs?
A: The City will not be offering retirement incentives as they take the position that it is not in their best interest.

Q: Will Calgary Transit be using more of the newer buses and repairing older ones before they are needed again?
A: We understand the employer intends on maintaining the older fleet while they have the opportunity with low ridership.

Q: How are layoffs decided? For instance, what amount of Conventional vs what amount of Shuttle will be laid off?
A: There is no determined ratio. When reducing the workforce CT will look at the level of Community Shuttle service they want to put out and level of Conventional service and from there determine staffing needs accordingly. Any layoffs have to be done in reverse seniority for all job categories.

Q: Will CT be laying off Management at the same level as employees?
A: We don’t have any information pertaining to numbers of Management that might be laid off. But we would anticipate there would be some positions lost.

Q: Can we volunteer to be laid off or to take a leave of absence?
A: We are looking at the legal implications of volunteer layoffs to ensure recall rights.
Any Member requesting a Leave of Absence would likely be granted one right now and return to work at the end of leave.

Q: Will CT be closing any garages?
A: Stoney Trail has already been closed. They certainly could close the bus side of a garage like Anderson if it is cost effective.

Q: Can someone on S&A be laid off?
A: Not while on S&A or LTD. But when their claim would have normally ended then they could be laid off if applicable.

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